Monday, March 10, 2014

Where oh where is the next book??

About a month ago, I asked over on GoodReads if anyone would be interested about me blogging about anything in particular. Katyna asked, “When are you going to write another book?” – here is the answer!

Rather peskily, a few months after I published Know Not Why, I started grad school.

Since the fall of 2012, therefore, I have been getting my academia on pretty endlessly. My life is basically teaching multiple classes, taking multiple classes, harboring a hearty terror of linguistics, and constructing an elaborate silly secret history about the American Transcendentalists with my grad cohort besties. (Hint about them Transcendentalists: sex piratry, the future ghost of Barbara Cartland, and a particular haberdashery are involved. Possibly a sea shanty about the ribald exploits of Octavius Brooks Frothingham has been composed. I like to think that one day our writings on the subject will become available to the public sphere.)

That’s all my long rambly way of saying that I haven’t had as much time to write as I wish I did!

I’ve still been working pretty regularly – this past summer, I finished an early draft of a rather odd, macabre fairytale-tinged Gothic novella about a damsel in distress who gets tired of waiting for rescue (and a little violent). I’m still not sure if that one would find an audience; my writing tends to fluctuate between Merry Happy Silly RomCom and Anguished, Fraught, Let’s-See-How-Many-Allusions-to-Keats-We-Can-Fit-In-This-Sucker Weirdness. Usually, the Brontes  and Florence Welch are to blame for the latter category.

Right now, I’m in the middle of a comedic variation on the same general idea: I’m about halfway through a draft of a fairytale romantic comedy about a princess whose prince is more interested in raging against the machine than rescuing princesses. (He’s big into playing protest songs on the lute.) Instead, he gets the court sorceress to do the rescuing for him. The sorceress and the princess hate each other first, but in that fun romcom way where they pay too much attention to each other’s beautiful eyes while they’re snapping at each other and stuff. They are on their way to falling in love now (40,000 words in means the besottedness level is high), with many a fairytale shenanigan to help and hinder them.

I’m hoping to finish this one up properly as soon as I have some free time. Alas, I am currently in my last semester of school, which means thesis-writing, so my writing allegiance is first and foremost to that daunting task. (Sidenote: aaaaah!)

After that one, I have another contemporary romantic comedy I’d like to finish up, which is kind of The Nanny meets The Proposal and hopefully a nonstop festival of romcom fun and shenanigans. Basically, my Books I Need To Write! queue is even longer than my Netflix queue, which is no small feat.

I also have a few already-finished or very nearly finished novels that need finishing touches ... including a 250,000-word (and counting) behemoth of a contemporary romcom that I co-wrote with a dear friend. It is one of my most cherished writing projects ever, and I think fans of Know Not Why would really enjoy the tone of it. My friend/co-author and I have both been so busy with school, life, etc. over the past few years that this story has gone into hibernation, but we often talk about finishing it up and dividing it into a series. As soon as we figure out how to coordinate our schedules, that will become a light on the horizon!

In short: I am still trying to figure out how to balance writing with all that other life stuff, and I genuinely hope to succeed at this soon. Especially with my grad school career reaching its end (aaah!), and no concrete future plans in sight (aaaaaah!), I yearn to find some way to make a life with my long time true love, fiction.

Yes, I just said “yearn,” which is pretty melodramatic word choice – but I tend to operate on a very Anne Shirley level, as a general rule. And not Anne Shirley when she grows up and becomes a functional human being, either. Nope. I’m depths of despair!, Slate of Vengeance twelve year old Anne Shirley all the way.

Anyway: I know that I’m at my happiest and my best and, I think, my most valuable when I’m storytelling and entertaining people in some way. I just hope, in the near future, for the strength, skill, and perseverance to figure out how to make a life out of that. To quote my aforementioned soul sister Anne:

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”

Thank you so much to all of you, my first readers; you have helped me so much to start on that grand and daunting journey. :)

And now that I’ve rambled for 800 words, I guess the short answer is: when I’m done with grad school in a few months, I will get back to really devoting my attention to writing!


Michelle Magly said...

This is so much more entertaining than grading papers. Excuse me while I go weep over my three star reviews asking for more plot.


Do you ever feel like wailing like that to your readers?

Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

Just bopping in here to leave some love for your novel!!! I'm a firm Howie/Arthur shipper! Cannot wait for more words from you! Good luck with you thesis!